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Treasure Hunters of Quentaris - Margo Lanagan

When I agreed to write a Quentaris book, I’d just finished putting together a collection of very densely-written short stories that had taken me about three years to write. The idea of writing a short, fast-paced adventure story, with the action planned out in advance, was very attractive!

I wrote it while commuting by train to my day job. I broke the story down into 20 chapters to start with, and wrote about a chapter a day, roughly 2 pages on the morning train and 2 in the afternoon. When I was really on a roll, I'd put in a bit of work on it in the evenings at the kitchen table as well. The first draft took about six weeks to write, using this method.

But like most of my first drafts, it was too long, and when I cut it to fit the word limit, I cut the wrong bits out. This took a bit of fixing afterwards – another day or so at the kitchen table, pulling the early chapters apart and then sewing them carefully back together so that the joins wouldn't show. I’d also got the story told at the expense of the characters, so I had to go back and inject a bit more life into them afterwards.

All in all it was a fun project. I got to explore three rift worlds and find lots of different kinds of treasure. It was interesting using the shared world – a bit like walking around in a dream someone else is having, trying to control bits of it! And Quentaris is a cool world, with lots of possibilities for adventure.
Tikko knows that some day she’ll be a guide, like her brothers and sisters - but so soon? Lord Eustachio Doro isn't even sure he wants to follow his family's tradition and explore other worlds. Find out what happens when this unlikely pair are thrown together to hunt for treasure in the rift caves near Quentaris. Will they win glory and do their families proud, or fall headlong into disaster?
Carla Doro’s desert emptiness, the colours and the glittering surfaces – whether great slabs of amethyst and topaz or rainbow veins of opal running through the boulders in bands – were almost too intense and varied for Tikko’s eyes to bear.

And that’s strange too, she thought, toiling up a low ridge that was topped with a row of gigantic thorn-like ebony spikes. So many different kinds of jewels, in a single place – that’s not natural. Usually an area is good for diamonds, or you have a gold mine, or a moonstone-fossicking place. Someone’s collected these and piled them up here.

Higher up, a huge, glassy globe was set in the wall of the ridge. Inside the globe, it looked as if an iridescent golden curtain was suspended, a curtain that someone had slashed open in the middle with a single downward sword-stroke, revealing blackness behind, which, as Tikko passed, turned red, then black again.

And the globe blinked.

Tikko went absolutely still, hoping she was mistaken. My lord! she called out in her mind, for she didn’t have any breath to shout with.

The globe turned. Now she clearly saw that what she had thought was a rock wall was black-brown reptilian skin, square-patterned like a crocodile’s – but much bigger than a crocodile’s. The black slit-pupil of the eye turned red again, a brighter red and more hypnotic. Tikko felt magic flow around her like a warm breeze laden with needles. It spun her brain in its skull.

Then the eye blinked again: a sleeve of damp skin unwrinkled up from below and wiped the already flawless globe-surface with an extra layer of polish.

For a half-moment, during the blink, the magic weakened, and in that fragment of time Tikko gave a shout, and threw herself away from the eye, not knowing whether she was about to impale herself on crystal-shards or crack her head open on a diamond boulder, only knowing that she must break out of the spell the monster was casting on her.

She tumbled out of control. Flashes of colour streaked past her eyes. She was no longer falling; she was being shrugged off, shaken aside, by some powerful movement under the hill – no, of the hill itself. In horror, she realised that the whole jewel-studded hill was the monster with the eye. Eustachio’s chipping and Tikko’s walking had woken it, and it was not happy.

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

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